Legislation to Allow Virginia Dentists to Administer Botox Injections for Cosmetic Purposes Advances to Governor

Feb. 21 UPDATE

Senator Todd Pillion’s SB 1539, which would allow dentists to possess and administer botulinum toxin injections for cosmetic purposes, has been approved by both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly and now advances to Governor Glenn Youngkin for his consideration. VDA members and dental students lobbied their legislators in-person, testified in House and Senate committees, and hundreds of dentists from around the state contacted their legislators through the VDA’s call-to-action platform in support of the bill. 

The Governor will have 30 days to consider his actions on the bill, and, should he sign it into law, it would go into effect July 1, 2023, requiring the Board of Dentistry to amend its regulations to establish training and continuing education requirements for dentists related to the administration of botulinum toxin injections for cosmetic purposes.


Dentists may already administer Botox (botulism toxin) in Virginia as part of a dental treatment. It is routinely used by dentists in treating conditions including sleep apnea, bruxism (teeth grinding), tension headaches, and excess salivary flow.  

Medical doctors, nurse practitioners, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, and other medical professions in Virginia are allowed to undergo appropriate specialized training to administer Botox for cosmetic purposes.  

This bill would allow dentists to undergo equivalent training.  

Dentists who are not oral and maxillofacial surgeons are not currently allowed to undergo the well-established training to administer Botox for cosmetic purposes. 

This law would allow dentists to safely provide a more comprehensive range of dentistry services for patients. 

Dentists already frequently administer precise injections and are familiar with the anatomy and physiology of the head and neck, making them well-suited to administer botulinum toxin injections for cosmetic purposes. 

This legislation would align with neighboring states including Maryland, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia, which allow dentists to train to administer Botox. 

The legislation will also allow Virginia to attract and retain dental school graduates who plan to incorporate cosmetic dentistry into their practice.  

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